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Durgabai Deshmukh Biography


Durgabai Deshmukh Biography

దుర్గాబాయి దేశ్‌ముఖ్ జీవిత చరిత్ర

Durgabai Deshmukh, Lady Deshmukh (15 July 1909 – 9 May 1981) was an Indian freedom fighter, lawyer, social worker and politician. She was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and of the Planning Commission of India.

A public activist for women's emancipation, she founded the Andhra Mahila Sabha (Andhra Women's Conference) in 1937. She was also the founder chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board. In 1953, she married C.D. Deshmukh, the first Indian governor of the Reserve Bank of India and Finance Minister in India's Central Cabinet from 1950 to 1956.

From her early years, Durgabai had been associated with Indian politics. At age 12, she left school in protest to the imposition of English-medium education. She later started the Balika Hindi Paathshala in Rajamundry to promote Hindi education for girls.

When the Indian National Congress had its conference in her hometown of Kakinada in 1923, she was a volunteer and placed in charge of the Khadi exhibition that was running side by side. Her responsibility was to ensure that visitors without tickets didn't enter. She fulfilled the responsibility given to her honestly and even forbade Jawaharlal Nehru from entering. When the organisers of the exhibition saw what she did and angrily chided her, she replied that she was only following instructions. She allowed Nehru in only after the organisers bought a ticket for him. Nehru praised the girl for the courage with which she did her duty.

She was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi in India's struggle for freedom from the British Raj. She never wore jewellery or cosmetics, and she was a satyagrahi. She was a prominent social reformer who participated in Gandhi-led Salt Satyagraha activities during the Civil Disobedience Movement. She was instrumental in organising women satyagrahis in the movement. This led to British Raj authorities imprisoning her three times between 1930 and 1933.

After her release from prison, Durgabai continued her studies. She finished her B.A. and her M.A. in political science in the 1930s from Andhra University. She went on to obtain her law degree from Madras University in 1942, and started practicing as an advocate in Madras High Court.

Durgabai was the president of the Blind Relief Association. In that capacity, she set up a school-hostel and a light engineering workshop for the blind.

Durgabai was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India. She was the only woman in the panel of chairmen in the Constituent Assembly. She was instrumental in the enactment of many social welfare laws.

She failed to get elected to Parliament in 1952, and was later nominated to be a member of the Planning Commission. In that role, she mustered support for a national policy on social welfare. The policy resulted in the establishment of a Central Social Welfare Board in 1953. As the Board's first chairperson, she mobilized a large number of voluntary organizations to carry out its programs, which were aimed at education, training, and rehabilitation of needy women, children, and the handicapped.


She was the first to emphasise the need to set up separate Family Courts after studying the same during her visit to China in 1953. She discussed the idea with Justice M.C. Chagla and Justice P.B. Gajendragadkar of the Bombay High Court (at that time) and also with Jawaharlal Nehru. With similar demands for speedy justice for women in familial matters from women's movement and organisations, the Family Courts Act was enacted in 1984.

Personal life

Durgabai Deshmukh was born in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, British India, in the Gummidithala family belonging to Brahmin community; Durgabai was married at the age of 8 to her cousin, Subba Rao. She refused to live with him after her maturation, and her father and brother supported her decision. She later left him to pursue her education.

In 1953, she married the then Finance Minister of India Chintaman Deshmukh. According to her own account, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the three witnesses. C. D. Deshmukh had a daughter from a previous marriage but the couple remained otherwise childless. Though she had parted ways with Subba Rao, she supported his widow Timmaiamma after his death. Timmaiamma lived with Durgabai and Chintaman Deshmukh, and Durgabai also organised for her to get vocational training.

Durgabai Deshmukh authored a book called The Stone That Speaketh. Her autobiography Chintaman and I was published one year before her death in 1981. She died in Narasannapeta, in Srikakulam district. 


Paul G Hoffman Award

Nehru Literacy Award

UNESCO Award (for outstanding work in the field of literacy)

Padma Vibhushan award from the government of India

Jeevan award and Jagadeesh award 

Organizations Established by Durgabai

Andhra Mahila Sabha in 1938.

Council for Social Development

Durgabai Deshmukh Hospital in 1962

Sri Venkateswara College, New Delhi

Andhra Education Society (AES) was founded in 1948 by Dr. Durgabai Deshmukh to serve the educational needs of Telugu children residing in Delhi.




ఆ మహానీయురాలి గురించి సమగ్రంగా ప్రముఖ సాహిత్యవేత్త, కౌముది ఎడిటర్ ‘కిరణ్ ప్రభ’ గారు ఈ క్రింది వీడియోల లో మనకి తెలియపరిచారు. ఇంత పూర్తి వివరాలతో ఆ మహానీయురాలి గురించి ఇంక ఎవరు చెప్పి ఉండరు. 👇👇👇

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